Police lawyer charged in connection with Hillsborough disaster
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A lawyer who acted for the police involved in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster has been charged with perverting the course of justice, prosecutors revealed yesterday.
Peter Metcalf, a solicitor with the now merged firm Hammonds, was one of six people charged by the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the disaster, which resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans, and its aftermath. Metcalf was the lawyer who acted for the South Yorkshire Police during the Taylor Inquiry into the incident and the first inquests.
The others charged yesterday were: David Duckenfield, the match commander for South Yorkshire Police on the day of the disaster; Graham Henry Mackrell, who was Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer at the time; Donald Denton, the former chief superintendent of South Yorkshire Police; Alan Foster, a former detective chief Inspector at South Yorkshire Police; and Sir Norman Bettison, a former officer with South Yorkshire Police and subsequently chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police.
Prosecutors described Metcalf as “an experienced solicitor” who “was instructed by Municipal Mutual Insurance to represent the interests of the force at the Taylor Inquiry and in any civil litigation that might result from the Hillsborough disaster. He reviewed the accounts provided by the officers and made suggestions for alterations, deletions and amendments … for which there appears to be no justification”.
According to the website Legal Week, Metcalf was a solicitor with law firm Hammonds Suddards until April 2000, when it merged with Birmingham practice Edge Ellison to form Hammonds Suddards Edge.
Eleven years later, Hammonds was absorbed in a transatlantic merger by the American firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey, which later merged with Patton Boggs to become Squire Patton Boggs.
Solicitors Regulation Authority records list Metcalf as having qualified in 1977 and currently practising as a locum solicitor.